The Betrayal of Dissent

The Betrayal of Dissent : Beyond Orwell, Hitchens and the New American Century

3.12 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 10 business days
When will my order arrive?


Since his death in 1950, George Orwell has been canonised as England's foremost political writer, and the standard-bearer of honesty and decency for the honourable 'Left'. In this controversial polemic, Scott Lucas argues that the exaltation of Orwell, far from upholding dissent against the State, has sought to quash such opposition. Indeed, Orwell has become the icon of those who, in the pose of the contrarian, try to silence public opposition to US and U K foreign policy in the 'War on Terror'.

Lucas's lively and readable critique of public intellectuals including Christopher Hitchens, Michael Walzer, David Aaronovitch, and Johann Hari - who have all invoked Orwellian honesty and decency to shut down dissent - will appeal to anyone disillusioned with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 129 x 213.9 x 23.9mm | 435.46g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • 0745321984
  • 9780745321981

About Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is a regular contributor to the New Statesman. He is Professor of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham and author of numerous books on US and British foreign policy, intelligence services, culture and ideology. He is the author of Orwell: LIfe and Times (2003).
show more

Table of contents


1 Orwell, Policeman of the 'Left'

2 The Canonisation of St. George

3 Christopher Hitchens: Becoming George

4 9-11

5 Beyond the Spirit of '68

6 Our Friends in America

7 How We Dissent: On Bushmen and the 'Preponderance of Power'

8 On the Eve of War: March 2003

9 Dissent and 'Liberation'

EPILOGUE Beyond Orwell in Our New American Century
show more

Review quote

'This is an angry book. It is also well researched, carefully footnoted and coherently argued' -- Tribune 'This is the compelling story of how self-constructed contrarians, whilst staking out the moral high ground, have acted to close down debate and stigmatise dissent' -- Frances Stonor Saunders, author of The Cultural Cold War and Who Paid the Piper? 'Scott Lucas is the first writer to engage at length with the extraordinary split on the left created by the Iraq war. He does it brilliantly' -- Peter Wilby, Editor, New Statesman
show more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.12 out of 5 stars
5 25% (2)
4 12% (1)
3 38% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 25% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X